Rain moving into Western Washington

After logging a record number of hot days this year, Western Washington is facing some wetter, cooler weather.

It’s been an exceptionally warm, dry summer, as evidenced by a record set Wednesday for the highest number of days with temperatures above 80 degrees in a year. The record now stands at 48 days.

That’s about to change.

On Friday, a storm system is expected to move in and bring 1 to 2½ inches of rain through the weekend. The forecast for early next week shows more of the same.

“The end of August often brings the entrance of a major weather system and a touch of fall, and this year will follow the pattern,” University of Washington meteorologist Cliff Mass wrote in a blog post.

Forecasters praised the precipitation in hopes that it would help firefighters gain control of several large wildfires in Washington and boost reservoir levels.

The high for Friday will drop into the low 70s, and temperatures Saturday and Sunday are expected to hover in the high 60s. Saturday might bring winds up to 14 mph, according to the National Weather Service.

Mountain areas will see even more rain and possibly a bit of snow.

Paradise on Mount Rainier is forecast for up to 1½ inches of rain this weekend, with Camp Muir getting 2 to 5 inches of snow, the weather service said.

The forecast through Wednesday of next week calls for more rain.

“This change is not a one-day affair,” Mass wrote. “That is why it is so important. It will end a chapter in this summer’s fire season.”

Stacia Glenn: 253-597-8653